New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address at the Republican National Convention in Tampa later this month, while Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) will introduce Mitt Romney.
“I’ll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we’re in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them,” Christie told USA Today in an interview announcing his speech. He said he will describe his experiences in New Jersey as evidence that “the American people are ready to confront those problems head-on and endure some sacrifice.”
"As governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has proven how bold Republican leadership gets results. He has fearlessly tackled his state’s most difficult challenges, while looking out for hardworking taxpayers,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, in a statement announcing the governor’s selection.
In terms of importance, the keynote speech is seen as second only to the speech of the presidential or vice-presidential nominee. It was the keynote speech in 2004 at the DNC that propelled Obama into public view, which should emphasize the importance many attribute to the keynote speaking slot.
Christie is a very popular figure in the GOP. Some have even gone so far as to nick-name him a "rock star of the republican party." His popularity has not however been enough to stave off complaints about his being picked for the keynote position. These complaints have revolved around others who certain conservatives
believe are better suited to speak at the convention, namely, one Sarah Palin.
The former governor of Alaska remains a Tea Party favorite, but still seems to be out of place with the GOP establishment. Some have discussed the idea that perhaps Palin is simply too conservative for the establishment of the Republican Party, and so some conservative bloggers have cried out to 'Let Sarah Speak.'
Palin is seen by 'grass-roots' conservatives as an electrifying figure that would excite the party base. Her not speaking at the Republican National Convention is seen by these same conservatives as a signal from the party establishment that they do not truly represent their interests in Washington. Some see her not speaking as a signal that party officials are not comfortable with the former governor. Whatever the case, Palin fans are certainly upset.
“As I’ve repeatedly said, I support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their efforts to replace President Obama at the ballot box, and I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new president to get our country back on the right path," said Palin in a statement to Fox News’s Greta van Susteren.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79699.html#ixzz23eHzl9XY http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/08/14/whats-chris-christies-next-political-move/